Thursday, November 13, 2008

...for all whom the Father gave Him

A response to the recent John 3:16 Conference 
and commentary of David Allen.

"The Arminians say, 'Christ died for all men.' Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, 'No, certainly not.' We ask them the next question: Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer 'No.' They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, 'No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if ?' and then follow certain conditions of salvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as infallibly to secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ's death; we say, 'No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.' We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it." -C.H. Spurgeon

“I have manifested your name to the people ewhom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but othey are in the world, and I am coming to you. qHoly Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now aI am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, fjust as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you ikeep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; myour word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And ofor their sake pI consecrate myself,* that they also qmay be sanctified* in truth.

¶ “I do not ask for these only, but also for those swho will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world wmay believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, tthat they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, gto see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” -John 17:6-26

"This is the most controversial of the five [points of Calvinism], because of Bible passages apparently teaching that Christ died for every individual. See, for example, 2 Cor. 5:15, 1 Tim. 4:10, 1 John 2:2. There are "universal" dimensions of the atonement: (a) it is for all nations, (b) it is a recreation of the entire human race, (c) it is universally offered, (d) it is the only means for anyone to be saved and thus the only salvation for all people, (e) its value is sufficient for all. Nevertheless, Christ was not the substitute for the sins of every person; else, everybody would be saved. For the atonement is powerful, efficacious. It does not merely make salvation possible; rather it actually saves. When Christ "dies for" somebody, that person is saved. One of the apparent "universal atonement texts," 2 Cor. 5:15, makes that point very clearly. Thus he died only for those who are actually saved. The biblical concern here is more with the efficacy of the atonement than with its "limitation;" perhaps we should call it "efficacious atonement" rather than "limited atonement," and, having then lost the TULIP, develop through genetic engineering a flower we could call the TUEIP. But of course efficacy does imply limitation, so limitation is an important aspect of this doctrine." - John Frame

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory." -Ephesians 1:4-14

"Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith. Here, too, is displayed a wonderful effect of faith; for by it we receive Christ such as he is given to us by the Father -- that is, as having freed us from the condemnation of eternal death, and made us heirs of eternal life, because, by the sacrifice of his death, he has atoned for our sins, that nothing may prevent God from acknowledging us as his sons. Since, therefore, faith embraces Christ, with the efficacy of his death and the fruit of his resurrection, we need not wonder if by it we obtain likewise the life of Christ." -John Calvin

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

¶ Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." -John 6:37-44

"Jesus took the judgment for those who believe ...for those who do not believe they will take their own judgment and the wrath of God awaits them because they hold the truth and suppress it...." - John MacArthur

this has been an encore presentation


Jimmie W. Kersh said...

Mr. Camp,

I love the logic of those doctrines of Grace. I love being Chosen by God because He wants to accomplish His will. I love knowing I will not resist His Love. I love knowing He died for me in particular. I hate my depravity, but Love Grace.

I am a follower of the Text and therefore I plant hundreds of tulpis in my yard to celebrate my election, salvation, adoption, justification and purification by the blood. I plant red tuplips to remind me of the Blood shed particularly for me.

cyd said...

"Observe again, that none are given to Christ but those that were first the Father's: 'Thine they were;' he had chosen them in the purposes of his grace, and disposed them into Christ's hands. Thine toy election, mine by special donation.

The acts of the three persons are commensurable, of the same sphere and latitude; those whom the Father chooseth, the Son redeemeth, and the Spirit sanctifieth. The Father loveth none but those that are given to Christ, and Christ taketh charge of none but those that are loved of the Father. Tour election will be known by your interest in Christ, and your interest in Christ by the sanctification of the Spirit. All God's flock are put into Christ's hands, and Christ leaveth them to the care of the Spirit, that they may be enlightened and sanctified.

In looking after the comfort of elec­tion, you must first look inward to the work of the Spirit on your ihearte, then outward to the work of Christ on the cross, then upward to the heart of the Father in heaven:
1Peter 1:2, 'Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ'
There is a chain of salvation; the beginning is from the Father, the dispensation through the Son, the application by the Spirit; all cometh from God, and is conveyed to us through Christ, by the Spirit."

Thomas Manton

What a Glorious, Perfect Salvation!

Kristi said...

So how do you interpret 2 Peter 2:1?

Rick said...

Steve- I really appreciate how you handled giving the invitation (per your last comments/last post).

Let me refer you to a very Biblical response challenging limited atonement... please consider reading the book "Redemption Redeemed" by John Goodwin.

Goodwin was a contemporary of John Owen's. "Redemption Redeemed" was to me, far more convincing than Owen's "Death of Death".

This is a unique Puritan book in that it is not Calvinist, and I would really like to see how it might be received from lovers of the Word like yourself.

It's available at Amazon. It's expensive. But it goes to show that there really are sound voices out there representing the non-Calvinist position.


Mike Ratliff said...

cogitator - the Greek word for "Master" in 2 Peter 2:1 is the Greek word "Despotes." If Peter had been speaking of the Lord he would have used the Greek Word "Kurios."

"Despotes" refres to an owner of slaves. Peter was using sarcasm here to refer to these false teachers as being slaves of their evil master.

Rick said...

Cogitator and Mike-

Actually, the Greek word "despotes" IS sometimes used for the Lord, as in Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, Jude 1:4, and Rev.6:10. It may very well apply to 2 Pet.2:1.


Mike Ratliff said...


Peter uses "Kurios" for "Lord" in 1:2, 1:14, 1:16, 2:9, 2:11, 2:20,3:8,3:9,3:10,3:15,and 3:18. He uses "Depostes" one time in the midst of those usages. How can any resonable exegate insist on the usage of that word carrying the same meaning as "Kurios" when he is making a point of the "MASTER" of evil men?

We must always remember author, intent, audience and context.

Correy said...

Got to love how spurgeon breaks things down into such simplicity.

Puritan Fan said...

I heard Steve Gaines speak this weekend in Memphis. He went out of his way to let everybody know that Christ died for "all" and not just for the "elect."

The arguments against limited atonement fascinate me. The atonement is always limited. Calvinist limit the scope of the atonement; Arminians (most of whom, I am assuming, are not Universalists) limit the effectiveness.

I have come to the conclusion (or realization) that the real debate is one of monergism versus synergism. I'll risk erring on the side of ascribing my salvation wholly to God.

D.R. said...

unfortunately I had not studied that text enough to look at the Greek, however, I had always felt that the interpretation that you support was valid, if not more compelling. After seeing the Greek evidence you gave, this text becomes very clear and the interpretation Rick support seems to be illegitimate based on the context. Thanks for clearing that up and helping me understand that text.

4given said...

The Doctrines of Grace are scripturally unrefutable. THey are certainly not what flesh is wanting of, comfortable with... that is why Arminianism is so appealing... it keeps the flesh in its comfort zone.

Puritan fan said "The atonement is always limited. Calvinist limit the scope of the atonement; Arminians (most of whom, I am assuming, are not Universalists) limit the effectiveness."

"the scope" being that even in the way of salvation, God is sovereign.
So true.

Mike: "We must always remember author, intent, audience and context."... as though our very life depends on it. For we are all called to teach to some degree and will have to answer for what we teach... and in so doing, the more we learn of Christ, may we be unable to remain silent about the things of Christ for there is much to say when speaking The Truth in love. It is not only an obligation, but a privilege.

Rick said...


I don't understand your interpretation of 2 Peter 2:1.

How can someone be denying their "evil master" as you say, when they are bringing in destructive heresies?

And how did their "evil master" buy them?

Wouldn't they be complying well with their "evil master" by bringing the heresies? How are they denying them?

Seems to me that Peter is here saying that their sin is aggravated by the fact that provision was made for them- and they denied it.

Rick said...

Folks, even John Calvin wrote on 2 Peter 2:1 as a denying of Christ:

"Even denying the Lord that bought them. Though Christ may be denied in various ways, yet Peter, as I think, refers here to what is expressed by Jude, that is, when the grace of God is turned into lasciviousness; for Christ redeemed us, that he might have a people separated from all the pollutions of the world, and devoted to holiness ,and innocency. They, then, who throw off the bridle, and give themselves up to all kinds of licentiousness, are not unjustly said to deny Christ by whom they have been redeemed. Hence, that the doctrine of the gospel may remain whole and complete among us, let this be fixed in our minds, that we have been redeemed by Christ, that he may be the Lord of our life and of our death, and that our main object ought to be, to live to him and to die to him. He then says, that their swift destruction was at hand, lest others should be ensnared by them."

-from Calvin's "Commentaries on Catholic Epistles"

Terry McGovern said...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

(Rom 5:18) Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

(Rom 5:19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Jeremy Weaver said...

The issue comes down to the question, "In what sense did Christ die for all men?"

Arminians argue that Christ died for all men in the same sense and the question is one of appropriation of His death.

Calvinists argue that Christ died specifically for the elect and His death is therefore effectual for them alone, HOWEVER, Christ did die in a sense for all men in that His death is what is needed for any man's salvation.
In other words, Christ died for all men only in the sense that His death is the cure for sin with which all men are plagued. And yet this death is only applied to those who come to faith in Him and this is evidence of their election from before the foundation of the world, and so it is said that the Atonement is limited to them.
I am certain that whoever comes to Christ will be saved. I am also certain that only those who are called come to Christ.

And so we end up right where Puritan Fan said we would, Synergism vs. Monergism.

Mike Ratliff said...


I go back to my orgiginal statement. Peter was using sarcasm and a play on words.

Who is the master of evil men? You know.

When a false teacher says there is no devil they are denying him.

Peter was simply using a contrast to emphasis who really OWNED them.

In their teachings they denied Christ. They taught antonominsim. So Calvin was right there. However, Peter took the next step and used this statement to show them actually teaching against the existence of Satan.

Mike Ratliff said...

terry mcgovern

Have you ever heard of an absolute not being an absolute? All of those passages are statements exlaining that salvation was not just for the jews but for the gentiles as well.

SJ Camp said...


Excellent question on such an important verse.

There are always three signs of a false teacher or false prophet biblically and they appear in this text of 2 Peter: 1. Teaching damnable heresies; 2. Given over to sensuality; unrestrained passion or ways; and 3. The love of money, greed--licentiousness. These there character traits are the unholy trinity accompanying those who claim to know Christ, but deny Him by their conduct and their doctrine. Such is the case here.

THE general subject of this chapter is stated in the first verse, and it embraces these points:
(1.) that it might be expected that there would be false teachers among Christians, as there were false prophets in ancient times;
(2.) that they would introduce destructive errors, leading many astray; and,
(3.) that they would be certainly punished. The design of the chapter is to illustrate and defense these points.

Notice what these false teachers are called in 2 Peter 2:9ff, “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.

¶ Bold, arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones; however, angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord. But these people, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed—speak blasphemies about things they don’t understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed, suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness. They consider it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, delighting in their deceptions as they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and always looking for sin, seducing unstable people, and with hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! By abandoning the straight path, they have gone astray and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but received a rebuke for his transgression: a speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

¶ These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them. For uttering bombastic, empty words, they seduce, by fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, “a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud.”

1. But there were false prophets also among the people. In the previous chapter, (2 Pet. 1:19-21,) All who claimed to be prophets were not true messengers of God. There were many who pretended to be such, who only led the people astray.

Even as there shall be false teachers among you. The fact that false teachers would arise in the church is often adverted to in the New Testament. (cp, Matt. 24:5, 24; Acts 20:29, 30.)

Who privily. That is, in a secret manner, or under plausible arts and pretences. They would not at first make an open avowal of their doctrines, but would in fact, while their teachings "seemed to be" in accordance with truth, they were not--covertly maintain opinions which would sap the very foundations of religion. The Greek word here used, and which is rendered “who privily shall bring in,” (pareisagw,) means properly to lead in by the side of others; to lead in along with others. Nothing could better express the usual way in which error is introduced. It is by the side, or along with, other doctrines which are true; that is, while the mind is turned mainly to other subjects, and is off its guard, gently and silently to lay down some principle, which, being admitted, would lead to the error, or from which the error would follow as a natural consequence. Those who inculcate error rarely do it openly. If they would at once boldly ”deny the Lord that bought them,” it would be easy to meet them, and the mass of professed Christians would be in no danger of embracing the error. But when principles are laid down which may lead to that; when doubts on remote points are suggested which may involve it; or when a long train of reasoning is pursued which may secretly tend to it; there is much more probability that the mind will be corrupted from the truth.

Damnable heresies. aireseiß apwleiaß. “Heresies of destruction;” that is, heresies that will be followed by destruction. The Greek word which is rendered damnable, is the same which in the close of the verse is rendered destruction. It is so rendered also in Matt. 7:13; Rom. 9:22; Phil. 3:19; 2 Pet. 3:16—in all of which places it refers to the future loss of the soul. The same word also is rendered perdition in John 17:12; Phil. 1:28; 1 Tim. 6:9; Heb. 10:39; 2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 17:8, 11—in all which places it has the same reference.

The thing which these false teachers would attempt would be divisions, alienations, or parties, in the church, but these would be based on the erroneous doctrines which they would promulgate. What would be the particular doctrine in this case is that they “would deny the Lord that bought them.” The idea then is, that these false teachers would form sects or parties in the church, of a destructive or ruinous nature, founded on a denial of the Lord that "bought them."

Even denying the Lord that bought them. This is to your question now—a difficult, but understandable phrase. When we come across what might considered a problematic passage, we then must look to other passages to give it clarity. The Puritans called this "the analogy of Scripture." Scripture must harmonize with itself—IOW, Scripture is the best interpreter of itself.

This phrase means that they held doctrines which were in fact a denial of the Lord. To “deny the Lord” may be either to deny His existence, His claims, or His attributes; it is to withhold from Him, in belief and profession, anything which is essential to a proper conception of Him. IOW, to purposely misrepresent Him—teaching error as truth. They professed Christ (bought them), but in reality denied Him. Peter is not saying they were truly regenerate and then could be unregenerate... That would be impossible (Rom. 8:28ff; John 6:27-44; John 10, etc.)

As others have pointed out, this is sarcastic language. Peter is taking them at their profession saying “the Lord that bought them” (it is figurative); and at the same time saying, “they deny the very One they claim allegiance too."

And bring upon themselves swift destruction. The destruction here referred to can be only that which will occur in the future world, for there can be no evidence that Peter meant to say that this would destroy their health, their property, or their lives. The Greek word (apwleian) is the same which is used in the former part of the verse, in the phrase “damnable heresies.”

It follows that men may destroy themselves by a denial of the great and vital doctrines of religion. It cannot be a harmless thing, then, to hold erroneous opinions; nor can men be safe who deny the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. It is truth, not error, that saves the soul; and an erroneous opinion on any subject may be as dangerous to a man’s ultimate peace, happiness, and prosperity, as a wrong course of life. How many men have been ruined in their worldly prospects, their health, and their lives, by holding false sentiments on the subject of morals, or in regard to medical treatment! Who would regard it as a harmless thing if a son should deny in respect to his father that he was a man of truth, probity, and honesty, or should attribute to him a character which does not belong to him—a character just the reverse of truth? Can the same thing be innocent in regard to God our Saviour?

Men bring destruction “on themselves.” No one compels them to deny the Lord that bought them; no one forces them to embrace any dangerous error.

Hope this helps a bit more brother!
Col. 1:9-14

(source: Barnes Notes; RWP; Calvin Comm.; MSB)

donsands said...

Good dialouge on a difficult verse.

Would the writer of Hebrews be referring to the same false teachers/disciples as Peter?

Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29

"..once enlightened,...partakers of Holy Spirit"
"..and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing"

I believe Christ took every sin of His people, when He said "It is Finished", it was done. What A Savior, and what a sacrifice the Father bestows upon us, His chosen.

"He was cut off... for the transgression of My people was He stricken. ...and you shall call His name JESUS for He shall save His people from their sins." (Is. 53:9; Mat. 1:21)

Mike Ratliff said...

Don Sands, Good point.

Our God is wonderful, awesome and gracious.

The non-Reformed view robs Him of His glory. That, I refuse to do.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

donsands said...

One more thought. A passage that speaks of determined atonement in a most powerful way is John 10:11-30.

SJ Camp said...


YES... very good. Hebrews 6:4-6 is speaking about those who are not Christians, but are "in attendance with other believers" and have "a familiarity with the Christian faith have been given full revelation as to the gospel, but yet still reject it." In such cases, it is impossible (adunatos) to renew them unto repentance. WHY? Because there is no other gospel; no other way of salvation; no other hope for their eternal life apart from Christ whom they have rejected. They have, what Paul calls in Gal. 5:4, "fallen from grace..." Not that they could lose their salvation (Rom. 8:28ff), but that they either have rejected Christ or try to add to the finished work of Christ... a Christ-plus gospel. Paul essentially says in either case, "Christ will be of no benefit to you... You have made Him of -- no effect" (Galatians. 5:2-3).

JFB on 2 Peter 2:1-3
But — in contrast to the prophets “moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

also — as well as the true prophets (2 Peter 1:19-21). Paul had already testified the entrance of false prophets into the same churches. among the people — Israel: he is writing to believing Israelites primarily (see note on 1 Peter 1:1). Such a “false prophet” was Balaam (2 Peter 2:15). there shall be — Already symptoms of the evil were appearing (2 Peter 2:9-22; Jude 1:4-13).

false teachers — teachers of falsehood. In contrast to the true teachers, whom he exhorts his readers to give heed to (2 Peter 3:2).

who — such as (literally, “the which”) shall.

privily — not at first openly and directly, but by the way, bringing in error by the side of the true doctrine (so the Greek ): Rome objects, Protestants cannot point out the exact date of the beginnings of the false doctrines superadded to the original truth; we answer, Peter foretells us it would be so, that the first introduction of them would be stealthy and unobserved (Jude 1:4).

damnable — literally, “of destruction”; entailing destruction (Philippians 3:19) on all who follow them.

heresies — self-chosen doctrines, not emanating from God (compare “will-worship,” Colossians 2:23).

even — going even to such a length as to deny both in teaching and practice. Peter knew, by bitter repentance, what a fearful thing it is to deny the Lord (Luke 22:61, 62).

denying — Him whom, above all others, they ought to confess.

Lord — “Master and Owner” (Greek ), compare Jude 1:4, Greek. Whom the true doctrine teaches to be their OWNER by right of purchase. Literally, “denying Him who bought them (that He should be thereby), their Master.” [Again, Peter using figurative language here; by their profession to be the Lord's; but by their doctrine and lives, deny Him. This is the essence here. If you again look at the description that Peter and Jude give of theses false teachers, NO WHERE in Scripture are true believers described as such.

Similar to the words of our Lord in Matt. 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’]

bought them — The denial of His propitiatory sacrifice is included in the meaning (compare 1 John 4:3).

bring upon themselves — compare “God bringing in the flood upon the world,” 2 Peter 2:5. [In a real sense,] man brings upon himself the vengeance which God brings upon him (cp, Roms. 1:18ff).

swift — swiftly descending: as the Lord’s coming shall be swift and sudden. As the ground swallowed up Korah and Dathan, and “they went down quick into the pit.” Compare Jude 1:11, which is akin to this passage.

2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

Here is Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament on 2 Peter 2:1 for you: Some very helpful insights here.

But there arose (egenonto de). Second aorist middle indicative of ginomai (cf. ginetai in Acts 1:20).

False prophets also (kai pseudoprophtai). In contrast with the true prophets just pictured in Acts 1:20. Late compound in LXX and Philo, common in N.T. (Matthew 7:15). Allusion to the O.T. times like Balaam and others (Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 28:9; Ezekiel 13:9).

False teachers (pseudodidaskaloi). Late and rare compound (pseudhß, didaskaloß) here alone in N.T. Peter pictures them as in the future here (esontai, shall be) and again as already present (eisin, are, verse Ezekiel 17), or in the past (eplanhqhsan, they went astray, verse Ezekiel 15).

Shall privily bring in (pareisaxousin). Future active of pareisagw, late double compound pareisagw, to bring in (eisagw), by the side (para), as if secretly, here alone in N.T., but see pareisaktouß in Galatians 2:4 (verbal adjective of this same verb).

Destructive heresies (aireseiß apwleiaß). Descriptive genitive, "heresies of destruction" (marked by destruction) as in Luke 16:8. Hairesiß (from airew) is simply a choosing, a school, a sect like that of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (Acts 15:5), and of Christians as Paul admitted (Acts 24:5). These "tenets" (Galatians 5:20) led to destruction.

Denying (arnoumenoi). Present middle participle of arneomai. This the Gnostics did, the very thing that Peter did, alas (Matthew 26:70) even after Christ's words (Matthew 10:33).

Even the Master (kai ton despothn). Old word for absolute master, here of Christ as in Jude 1:4, and also of God (Acts 4:24). Without the evil sense in our "despot."

That bought them (ton agorasanta autouß). First aorist active articular participle of agorazw, same idea with lutrow in 1 Peter 1:18. These were professing Christians, at any rate, these heretics.

Swift destruction (tacinhn apwleian). See 1 Peter 1:14 for tacinhn and note repetition of apwleian. This is always the tragedy of such false prophets, the fate that they bring on (epagonteß) themselves.

Rick said...

Steve and Mike-

You are both reading into the verse that which is not expressed.

Mike says they were teaching "there is no devil".

Steve says "They professed Christ (bought them), but in reality denied Him."

What is amazing is you quote Barnes and JFB and RWP- which do not support your point. In fact, if you read Barnes, he is adamant that this verse implies general redemption:

"(1.) that the apostle evidently believed that some would perish for whom Christ died.

(2.) If this be so, then the same truth may be expressed by saying that he died for others besides those who will be saved; that is, that the atonement was not confined merely to the elect. This one passage, therefore, demonstrates the doctrine of general atonement. This conclusion would be drawn from it by the great mass of readers, and it may be presumed, therefore, that this is the fair interpretation of the passage. "

Mark said...

John Owen addresses John Goodwin in Vol. 11 Continuing in the Faith here:


Rick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GeneMBridges said...

With respect, to 2 Peter 2:1,

Rick, where is the presumption for "buying" referring to the atonement here? There is none.

You seem to be assuming, without benefit of argument, that “bought” must mean “atoned for sin.” Depending on the way this objection is framed, this is a classic example of either semantic anachronism or semantic inflation.

Semantic Inflation: The disputant equates the mere occurrence of a word with a whole doctrine associated with the word. For example, a Catholic will compare and contrast Paul’s doctrine of justification with James’ doctrine of justification. But the mere fact that James uses the word “justification” doesn’t mean that he even has a doctrine of justification. That would depend, not on the occurrence of the word, in isolation, but on a larger argument. Words and concepts are two different things.
Another example is when Francis Frangipane and Word of Faith teachers read “standing in the gap” in Ezekiel 22:30 to mean “prayer” based on the term “intercession” with reference to prayer in the New Testament when there are several kinds of intercession, of which prayer is only one, and “standing in the gap” has a particular referent. The end result is that all references to “intercession” are taught to refer to prayer and all references to “standing in the gap” refer to prayer by virtue of association with intercession. Word of Faith teachers hold to an eccentric doctrine of intercession by invocation of a principle of faith which is then read back into each of these passages, further inflating the occurrence of certain terms through semantic anachronism.

Semantic Anachronism occurs when a disputant maps dogmatic usage back onto Biblical usage, then appeals to Biblical usage, thus redefined, to disprove dogmatic usage. For example, some Arminians appeal to Mt 23:37, Lk 7:30, Acts 7:51, Gal 2:21; 5:4, 2 Cor 6:1; & Heb 12:15 to disprove “irresistible grace.” (We will see this repeatedly in the next section).

In this text, Peter is not using the verb “to buy” as a synonym for penal substitution, which is a theological construct (cf. Isa 53; Rom 5; 2 Cor 5:18,21; Gal 3:13; Col 2:14; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18). Rather, his usage is allusive of false OT prophets like Balaam (2:15; cf. Jude 11), as well as the Exodus generation (cf. Deut 32:6; 2 Sam 7:23).

In the New Testament, “bought” is used both salvifically and non-salvifically. In every case where it is used with reference to the atonement, there are specific indicators, usually referring to a price. None of those indicators are in this text!

“Master” is never used in a redemptive context. It refers to the rulership of Christ or God as a whole, not the priestly or prophetic works of Christ. The text is paraphrasing Deut. 32:6, where God is called the Creator of the nation. These men are false teachers who are not all genuine believers and who are, by false professing Christ and intentionally trying to mislead the Christians, defying their Master (either Christ as their King or God as their creator and king), “(W)ho bought them” is a literary device from the Torah pointing to this text in Deuteronomy. The Jews were “bought” by God in the Exodus in that He formed them as a nation. To a Jew/Jewish Christian, “Lord” and “Master” in this context, refer to God the Father, not Christ.

I would also point out that if you press this text in the direction you have pressed it and still affirm eternal security, you are on shaky ground indeed, for these are said to perish. So, an appeal to it for general atonement by such a person would undermine the doctrine of eternal security.

SJ Camp said...

The analogy of Scripture prohibits a belief in general atonement. When you understand the nature of the atonement it is clear.

Let me give you an example:

1 John 2:2 "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but aalso for the sins of the whole world." At a tertiary reading one might suggest that Christ's propitiatory sacrifice for our sins is for every person on this earth from all the ages... "for the sins of the whole world." But that would not be congruent exegetically or biblically.

Propitiate means to avert wrath, to satisfy. On the cross, Christ as our propitiation satisfied the demands of God (the law, His holiness and justice, His wrath, and all righteousness) oh behalf of the sins of the people (Heb. 2:17). If Christ took the full eternal wrath of a holy God on behalf of all people ever born from all the ages, then there would not be any wrath to pour out upon the godly, God's holiness and justice would be completely satisfied so that all people may have peace with God forever. --IOW, this would lead to universalism--all would be saved.

Not even a confused Arminian believes that--that all people will one day be saved. Why? It is not the nature of the atonement. Christ was a propitiatory sacrifice on behalf of His own--not everyone in the world. How do we know? Two things.

1. Whole here is not pas (every single thing or person); but holos speaking to the universality of the message. The apostle John is saying here that this gospel message just isn't for us, but a message that is for all peoples, of all nations, of all tribes and tongues. The world needs the gospel--but the whole world will not be saved nor was the extent of the atonement for the whole world. IOW, the gospel is not an ethnic or culture specific message-- it is for the whole world.

This refers to the scope of the gospel being proclaimed (evangelism); not the efficacy nor the applied redemption of the gospel itself to sinners(propitiation).

2. In Matthew 7:21-23 we are given the most frightening declaration ever given in Scripture. Our Lord says, "“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. (emphasis mine)

"I never knew you..." - the most frightening words ever spoken by our Lord. Can you imagine such a thing? You think you are saved. You attribute your salvation to Christ--and you even call Him Lord. You present your best religious works all done in His name and He calls it lawlessness (that which is antithetical to the holy character and command of God). You are rejected and there is no hope. Perdition's flames are all you will ever know for all eternity. The broad way in Matthew 7 is not marked Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, Joseph Smith, etc. It is marked Jesus. "Many" the Lord said will hear those words, "I never knew you..."

He never knew you... Knew you from where? From all eternity. There was never a time you were His.

BUT, the elect of God were "chosen by the foreknowledge of God" (1 Peter 1:2) from all eternity past before the worlds were formed and the heavens were made (Eph. 1:4-5). Foreknowledge here doesn't mean to look down the corridors of time and see who will chose Christ and who will not chose Christ. It is not simply having knowledge in advance, but, a "pre-establishment of relationship."

(Compare this with Christ in 1 Peter 1:20 in regards to foreknowledge: "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.")

The cross was a propitiatory sacrifice not meant to atone for every sin, of all peoples, from all the ages; but it was for those "whom the Father gave Me..." (see John 17:4ff). We are a love gift from the Father to the Son (Dr. MacArthur's brilliant descriptive words).

The cross does not simply pave the way for anyone to come to Christ while the King of kings and Lord of lords quietly sits in the heavenlies waiting "for who is going to chose Me next?" ("elected because I selected") NO.

We were actually redeemed at the cross--all of the elect, from all of the ages. Again, as Dr. MacArthur so wonderfully says, "Christ on the cross took the payment for every sin, ever to be committed, by every one that would ever believe."

This is great comfort and hope beloved--not a simply source for debate and banter! The SBC has everything to lose and really nothing to gain except "numbers on the roll" by preaching a watered-down impotent gospel that is dependent upon man's acceptance for salvation. BUT, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by preaching the great truths of the gospel calling all men everywhere to repent of their sins, to confess Christ as Lord of their lives, and to daily take up their cross and follow Him.

This is the great atoning work of Christ on behalf of His elect. There was no wasted work accomplished at Calvary beloved. He knows His sheep and His sheep hear His voice and come to Him. No one comes unless the Father draws him; and all who He draws, will come and He will not lose one of them. AMEN?!?

General atonement is a politically correct seeker friendly view of the cross and gospel that at its core is unable to save--because it is a "cooperative work of man with God" (Johnny Hunt). It ultimately misrepresents the nature of the atonement and the nature of God in salvation; and it reduces Christ to a divine spectator in the redemption of our souls rather than as "the Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the world."

"I love Him because He first loved me." I was dead in trespass and sin and He saved me. I was a corpse and He breathed new life into me. I was deserving of His wrath and He gave me His grace; I was worthy only of His enmity and He gave me love; I was deserving only of His justice, and He gave me His mercy; I should be in hell tormented forever, but yet one day "I will stand in the presence of His glory, blameless, with great joy" (Jude 24).


GeneMBridges said...

I would add that the use of "Despotes" here as Creator/Master/Owner/Ruler if applied to Christ still comes by way of the cross, but not from the salvific benefits of the cross as such.

2 Peter 3:9 alludes back to the Discourse on the Eschaton at the end of Mark. Mark is Peter's gospel. Mark is the stenographer.

The Second Coming is being put off for the sake of drawing the elect to faith in Christ.
"Those days will be cut off for the sake of the elect." In this sense, the cross has bought all men in all of time and space common grace, for it has bought them a reprieve. Since we are spread throughout several hundred years and are subject to the passage of time, it can be said that God is allowing time to pass by virtue of the fact that He has placed us where we are in history. In this sense He "needs" to give men a reprieve for the sake of the elect whom He has scattered in the nations and in history.

However, following an OT metaphor for the continual sacrifices that kept the wrath of God from the nation in the wilderness; the once for sacrifice is, for a time, keeping the wrath of God at bay while the Lord applies the salvific benefits of the cross to His people through history.

It is a mistake to think the cross only brings salvific benefits. Equally, it is a mistake to extend the salvific benefits to all men without exception.

The cross buys men a reprieve by which they are ultimately judged, but this reprieve keeps God from snuffing us all out while the Lord draws His people to Himself.

Ergo, if the men in 1 Peter 2:1 are bought by their Creator/Maker/Master/Ruler they fall into the non-elect category and outside the salvific benefits of the cross.

This text is no threat to the doctrine of particular atonement.

Mike Ratliff said...


Your stance that Peter's usage of "Despotes" meaning what you want it to mean is eisigesis as well.

I should have prefaced my statement on the devil with a qualifer that that was a "suppose." But I didn't so I was just as guilty of eisigesis in that case as you are.

However, we must recognize that this passage is a difficult one to interpret and analyze. With that in mind your insistence on it being your "proof text" against Limited Atonement is fallacious. The best you should come away with here is that this passage can be interpeted in various ways.

Also, the burden of "proof" is on you. Limited Atonement is found throughout the scripture, yet you are insisting on this one lone verse from a book in the New Testement which has the poorest Greek grammar of all of the epistles. 2 Peter is a difficult book to interpret because of that. In contrast, the Greek of 1 Peter is excellent. This tells us that Peter himself probably wrote 2 Peter whihe he dictated 1 Peter to a skilled scribe. We don't know that, but that is a logical supposition.

What's the point? Again I emphasise that your stance on Limited Atonement is not supportable with your interpretation of 2 Peter 2:1 because you are forcing a specific translation on a word that can have many meanings.

If scripture is inerrent then we know that there are no contradictions unless we fabricate them. Your interpetation of 2 Peter 2:1 is in that catagory because if that is true then you have a paradox with clear passages that state the opposite of your stance (see Steve's Post). Also, your interpretation of this passage is an implication rather than a statement of fact. You are relying on that little phrase, "who bought them" to make your point. You leave no room for possible sarcasm or a play on words which would fit this passage very well.

Interestingly, I just looked at the usage of "Despostes" in Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, Jude 1:4 and Revelation 6:10.

In Luke 2:29 it is referring to God the Father because Jesus is a baby that Simeon was exulting to God about.

In Acts 4:24 we see the Apostles praying for boldness--to God not Jesus.

In Jude 1:4 both Despotes and Kurios are in the same verse. Kurios refers to Jesus and Despostes refers to God.

In every case it refers to people in submission to God. It never refers to the Atonement or our Salvation.

In Revelation 6:10 Depostes refers to God the Father in judgement. With that theme in mind we need to look at 2 Peter 2:1 in light of that.

Since the "Lord" there is not Jesus, but God (probably the father, but could be referring to the Triune Godhead) we need to see that those "who were bought" were not bought by Jesus in the Atonement. This is referring to something else.

The best inerpretation here is that these false teachers are antinomian, but are declaring God as Lord. So Peter is telling us either they are teaching evil and yet are saying God is Lord or they are teaching that plus there is no Devil, etc.

In any case, this usage is still in contrast to all those other verses in 2 Peter where Kurios is used. The usage of the different word here tells us this is a contrast. In the least we should not equate it to Jesus.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

Denise said...

John Frame denies the the necessity of faith in the resurrection to be saved (Rom. 10:9-10). Why is he being quoted here on the death of Jesus?

Terry Rayburn said...

Here's a friendly suggestion:

In making the case for Limited Atonement, I find it helpful to abandon the term "atonement". It's a term almost designed to confuse for these reasons:

1. The concept of "atonement" in the Old Covenant was one of a temporary covering of sins, through the sacrifice of animals. In the New Covenant, the sacrifice for sins does more than just cover, and is not temporary, but once-for-all.

2. It's abused by New Agers and cultists by splitting the English word into at - one - ment, and speaking of our becoming one with the Universal Mind God type of thing.

3. In theology it encompasses at least four separate issues regarding the cross: sacrifice to pay the penalty of death; propitiation to remove us from the wrath of God; reconciliation to overcome our separation from God; and redemption to "redeem" or "purchase" or "ransom" us out of bondage to sin and Satan. (Ref. "Sysematic Theology", W. Grudem, pp. 579-580).

Better to deal with those four issues separately, as they are easier to defend scripturally from a Calvinistic point of view.

4. "Atonement" is not a New Testament word anyway, used only once in Rom. 5:11 in the KJV (but used incorrectly for "reconciliation").

When speaking of the 5 Points, I find it gives much more light on the subject to use the term "Particular Redemption", especially when dealing with an Arminian that you really care for and want to persuade, as opposed to "beating" in a debate.

Since the term "Redemption" includes the concept of "effectual" in it's definition, it has half the battle won. Even an Arminian will seldom argue that all men are "redeemed", only to be lost because of their refusal to "accept Christ".


Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Steve:

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (II Peter 2:1 KJV)

On this verse John Gill wrote:

"...just as Moses aggravates the ingratitude of the Jews in De 32:6 from whence this phrase is borrowed, and to which it manifestly refers: "do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise! is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?" nor is this the only place the apostle refers to in this chapter, see 2 Pe 2:12 compared with De 32:5 and it is to be observed, that the persons he writes to were Jews, who were called the people the Lord had redeemed and purchased, Ex 15:13 and so were the first false teachers that rose up among them; and therefore this phrase is very applicable to them." (Commentary)

He also wrote, in regard to whom is meant by the "Lord" that bought them:

"...not the Lord Jesus Christ, but God the Father; for the word kuriov is not here used, which always is where Christ is spoken of as the Lord, but despothv; and which is expressive of the power which masters have over their servants, and which God has over all mankind; and wherever this word is elsewhere used, it is spoken of God the Father, whenever applied to a divine person, as in Lu 2:29 and especially this appears to be the sense, from the parallel text in Jude 1:4 where the Lord God denied by those men is manifestly distinguished from our Lord Jesus Christ, and by whom these persons are said to be bought: the meaning is not that they were redeemed by the blood of Christ, for Christ is not intended; and besides, whenever redemption by Christ is spoken of, the price is usually mentioned, or some circumstance or another which fully determines the sense." (ibid)

So, this verse, though used by the universal atonement advocates, in an attempt to prove that Christ died equally for the reprobate as well as for the elect, does not even refer to the death of Christ or to his atonement. It rather is referring to the "purchase" of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. Every Jew was "purchased" and "owned" by Jehovah.

"For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be LORD both of the dead and living." (Romans 14: 7-9 KJV)

This is a better verse to show that Christ, in some sense, bought or purchased all men. By his purchase of them, through his victorious death, he became "Lord" and "Christ," what he was not before, as respects his humanity.

Christ "bought" even the wicked, unbelieving, non elect. That is what these verses say. But, do we say that this "purchasing" of the non elect was in every way equal to the "purchasing" of believers, of the elect?

Is this "purchasing" in relation to salvation? Did Christ not purchase not only "all men" but "all things" by his victory?

For more on this see my article

God bless,


Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Hey brother Steve!

Great minds must think alike. I just posted an article on this same subject, and came over here and saw yours. Great thoughts!

Is. 53 is quite clear that Jesus bore the sin of "many", not "all". Jesus Himself also makes it clear that His blood was poured out for "many", and that He gave His life as a ransom for "many".

Is. 55 is also clear that everything God purposes/intends to do, He will do. If Jesus "intended" to save all men by His death, then why did He not pray for all men in John 17? If God intended to save all men, then why did He blind the eyes of some so that they "could not" believe?

It is clear that God has a people, He gave them to Christ, Christ died for THEM, and the Holy Spirit brings them to life through the hearing of the word of Christ.

Grace and peace.

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Mark said...

I just had this conversation with an unsaved acquaintance last night. He was disturbed that you could either choose God and Heaven or deny God and receive Hell.

I told him that whether he found it mean or unfair or cruel or limiting or whatever, the good news was that he has a choice in his destiny due to the mercy of God, and how it would actually make God cruel if after denying Him for his whole life He forced us to be with Him in the end.

My friend couldn't deny the truth behind that, and I told him that he was choosing at that moment by the Grace of God the direction of his life, and I wondered what his choice was.

He said he was still not ready, so I lovingly and very gently let him know that he could never ever complain of his future because I have now 3 times shown him his choices and shared the truth of the Gospel with him.

'Course, he also voted for Obama and admitted that he didn't know a single issue of either candidate he was just scared of Sarah Palin.

He was obliged to agree though, that choice is a great thing and that God might actually be calling him through my words and the curiosity he's been having on the issue.

Unknown said...

Does this mean that Christ's death was not for everyone? "God so loved the world..."

Are you placing limitations on what the Lord has done that the Bible does not place on itself?


SJ Camp said...

Great minds indeed. You had an excellent post as well!

"It is clear that God has a people, He gave them to Christ, Christ died for THEM, and the Holy Spirit brings them to life through the hearing of the word of Christ."

Really good... thank you.

J. K. Jones said...


Thanks for the post! I will link to it and reproduce some of the quotes on my own blog.


SJ Camp said...

Thanks for the encouragement.

SJ Camp said...

On the contrary.

If the Lord Jesus Christ was a propitiatory sacrifice for all people ever born in all of history - then all would be saved. That would be Universalism which is heresy.

On the cross, the Lord not only took the guilt and penalty for every sin, that would ever be committed, by everyone, that would ever believe - but He also took God's wrath that burned against our sin. He satisfied the justice, holiness and wrath of God on the cross. He drank the cup of wrath.

God was satisfied and wrath was appeased. But not for all people. For only those whom He came to die (John 17); for all whom the Father gave to Him (2 Tim. 1:9).

Hope this helps a bit more...

Unknown said...


It was through a post like this a few years ago, on your site, that the Lord drew me deeper into His Word and showed me the truths contained in the doctrines of grace.

I can't begin to tell you how much richer, fuller and more complete the Scriptures became. I spent weeks on my knees in prayer, thankful that I was chosen, by Him, unto salvation.

This is a tough subject but necessary to understand. Thanks for your ministry and the time/effort you put into it.